I keep hearing people confuse “gov’t 2.0” and “web 2.0.” The gov’t using a web 2.0 tool isn’t gov’t 2.0. It might be a sign gov’t 2.0 is taking hold, and it might be an example of the right approach, but it’s not the actual thing itself.
Here’s how I think of it.
Gov’t 2.0 means reaching out in new ways to engage people in helping lead, create policy, etc. It’s not linked to a particular technology. It will usually be accomplished using technology, but at its best, I think it’ll mix up good old-fashioned things like town meetings with stuff like blogs, wikis, and webinars.
Web 2.0 is a set of tools that can help us get to gov’t 2.0. But you can’t just throw up a blog and claim success.
Here at EPA, we’re going to dip the very tip of our toenail into gov’t 2.0 by opening up a blog to discuss changes in a regulation for how we calculate the Air Quality Index. We’re not diving in because there are legal, policy, and staff support issues to work out. But don’t despair; we’ll be doing triple backflips with 1 1/2 twists before long.
The ideal (gov’t 2.0) is engagement, on a scale far beyond the typical “open up a docket and see what people send in.” The technology (web 2.0) is a blog.
See the difference?
Well, if not, it’s late on a Friday and I’ll try again. Or you could share your own thinking.